Lindsey Graham, Joe Biden, Mike Pence and Elizabeth Warren. All household names and all powerhouse politicians for their respective parties. And all of them have been in Ohio this week to weigh in on the governor race.
The Ohio governor race likely will be decided on razor-thin margins and with early voting ongoing and election day less than a week away the candidates — Democrat Richard Cordray and Republican Mike DeWine — are rolling out the big guns to try to make any difference they can in the closing days of the race.
The race is being called a toss up by FiveThirtyEight, a political forecasting website, with their model giving both candidates a 1-in-2 chance to win. FiveThirtyEight’s model aggregates polls while taking into consideration elements like fundraising, national trends and historical trends.
Ohio, a crucial swing state on the electoral map, is viewed as a political bellwether, and with a large gap in the Senate race both parties are seemingly now turning their attention to the governor race and the impact it can have.
“I think there’s a need for my Republican friends in Congress and the Republican governors around the country to stand up and begin to speak out on some of the things that I can’t believe they think the president is doing that makes sense,” former Vice President Joe Biden said while making a surprise appearance at Sloopy’s on Ohio State’s campus.
While Biden made a case for the need to elect Cordray as governor to oppose President Donald Trump, the same argument is being made by Republicans like Vice President Mike Pence who came to Ohio to support multiple candidates and their ability to keep Trump’s agenda moving forward.
“It’s been two years of action and two years of results. It’s been two years of promises made and promises kept — and we’re just getting started, Ohio. That’s why we need Troy Balderson, Jim Renacci and Mike DeWine,” Pence said according to the Columbus Dispatch.
The pair of vice presidents focused their pitches on the national impact of Ohio’s race, but the influential senators, Warren and Graham, while certainly playing up party divisions, spoke on the character of the candidates.
Graham played up DeWine’s character while campaigning for him in Cincinnati on Tuesday, dubbing the current attorney general a “damn good man.”
Likewise, Warren spoke positively about Richard Cordray, a man with whom she has a close connection as she called upon him in 2011 to lead the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau — her political brainchild — when she was blocked by Republicans from being able to lead it herself.
“I am here today to fight alongside my partner Richard Cordray because Rich believes in opportunities for all of us,” Warren said. “He is tough, principled, unafraid and will get in there and fight on behalf of the American consumers.”
No poll will ever be able to definitively say whether these political powerhouses dropping into Ohio moves the needle in this election.
But in a race with no breathing room, both parties are showing — on a national level — they are ready to take it to the bitter end.